About us

How it works

The Empowa platform leverages our proprietary technology, namely Empowa Pay, Empowa Trade, digital SDRIs (Secure Defined Return Instrument) and the EMP digital token, to enable financial inclusion through the provision of rent-to-own home loans.

The Empowa Ecosystem

Transforming the climate-smart affordable housing market in Africa through digital innovation

Financial flows


Empowa Token

A proportional representation of the Empowa ecosystem

Empowa Trade

Marketplace for digital SDRI instruments

SDRI (Secured Defined Return Instrument)

Digital financial and impact Instrument built on NFT technology

Empowa Pay Service Provider

Rent-to-own payment management application for Service Providers

Empowa Pay Client

Payment Application for Rent-to-own Home Owners

Financial flow explained

1. Investments & returns

The primary capital-raising instrument in the Empowa ecosystem is the Secured Defined Return Instrument (SDRI). The Empowa SDRIs are digital instruments which provide the framework to easily identify, compare, value, and trade through the Empowa Trade application, reducing costs and increasing liquidity.

By linking the aggregated and anonymised information from Empowa Pay to the relevant SDRI and Empowa Trade, Empowa provides the framework to ensure that the holder of the SDRI can determine whether the instrument is listed at a discount or premium to its intrinsic value and trade accordingly.

The SDRIs are tradeable through Empowa Trade, a platform designed to allow the seamless trading of the SDRI. By providing a marketplace for these instruments Empowa further de-risks investment in the affordable housing market by providing the opportunity to trade out a position.

2. Collateral

Collateral for the SDRIs is supplied by the Empowa token (EMP). This collateral is provided by the local developer who buys it on the open market or “rents” it from the Empowa community. By providing a liquid digital asset as collateral, Empowa can provide an increased level of security to funders. It is well known that the time and cost of recovery of physical assets in the event of default is high, but particularly so in an international context. By providing an element of loss cover with a digital, liquid asset, together with improved and timeous information, Empowa can reduce the risk for investors.

3. Loans & loan repayments

Empowa partners with in-country service partners to ensure that we leverage their local market knowledge. After confirming product market fit, we work with the local partner to raise capital that enables off-take of their development. The off-take is enabled through the provision of rent-to-own home loans issued to qualifying tenants.

Empowa loans are issued to the local service partner which enables them to offer a rent-to-own option to their customers. This ensures Empowa can contract with a single party and is not responsible for the day-to-day management of the rent-to-own contract.

Empowa Pay, a property payment application, is used to record and digitise both tenant and service partner payments in real time. This allows for added transparency and accurate, timeous and verified data. By leveraging innovative financial technology, Empowa can collect high-quality data at a fraction of the cost, enabling us to provide better financial information to investors.

4. Rent-to-own payments

The Empowa platform features several innovations. Our rent-to-own financial product represents a better fit for the realities of clients in developing African markets. These contracts are tracked with the Empowa Pay application, providing better data with which to report and manage the portfolio.

The funds for the affordable houses are raised through the sale of SDRI, which due to their increased trade ability and liquid underwriting by the EMP token, ensure more favourable rates of funding.

Through these innovations, and the linking of carefully selected, trusted, in-country affordable housing developers to cost-effective funding digital investment delivery partners, Empowa is positioned as the platform of choice to effectively tackle the backlog of 50 million affordable homes in Africa. Empowa is opening a $1 trillion business opportunity.

Technology Overview

Empowa Pay

What is it?
Empowa Pay, is an app for tracking and recording rent-to-own payments and is used by both the end-user and the in-country service provider.

Why do we need it?
Empowa Pay enables the in-country service provider to record, manage and verify rent-to-own payments, ensuring timely and verified financial information can be supplied to investors. This enables risk to be better managed, the cost of finance to the consumer, without compromising on returns.

Empowa Trade

What is it?
Empowa Trade is a platform designed to allow accredited investors the opportunity to buy, sell and trade Empowa Secured Defined Return Instruments (SDRIs). The marketplace provides a high degree of consistency, transparency, comparability, and reliability, which allows the market to define a price floor beyond supply and demand-based pricing for each SDRI.

How is it used?
The Empowa Trade marketplace has two functions: the initial digital debt offering function, and the secondary purchase, sale, and resale trading function.

Why do we need it?
In the primary market, borrowers issue new debt, which is effectively where the debt instrument is created. In the secondary market, participants buy or sell debt that was issued in the primary market. The marketplace has both accredited individual and institutional participants, with institutions representing the majority of the traded volume of financing instruments.

EMP – Empowa Token

What is it?
The EMP token is a platform-native token introduced by the Empowa Platform used to collateralize investments in affordable housing. Capital raised is secured by cash flows associated with rent-to-own tenants’ repayments, and an amount of the EMP token supplied by developers as collateral.

How is it used?
The collateralization index is used to determine how much EMP must be purchased to secure a specific amount of loan. One EMP token represents $100 of house, providing a baseline to enter multiple countries and enable discussions on collateralization expectations.

Why do we need it?
The EMP token’s collateralization index is an innovative solution that eliminates friction and makes the collateralization process more flexible, creating demand pressure that increases its utility value and provides a reliable measure of house.

SDRI – Secured Defined Return Instrument

What is it?
The primary capital raising instrument in the Empowa ecosystem is the Secured Defined Return Instrument (SDRI) built on NFT technology. The Empowa SDRI will have several different characteristics so the Empowa platform provides the framework to make a particular SDRI easy to identify, compare, value, and trade. This framework ensures that the holder of the SDRI is able to determine whether the instrument is listed at a discount or premium to its intrinsic value.

How is it used?
The role of an SDRI is to provide a financial instrument that allows investors to participate in affordable housing projects in Africa. Investors can select an SDRI based on its financial and qualitative features and receive a coupon for the life of the SDRI.

The Empowa platform protects against default with EMP (Empowa Token) by collateralizing the SDRI with EMP as security against the loan based on the houses to be financed. In the event of default, the quantity of EMP used to secure the position can be sold on the open market to protect investors from total loss.

Why do we need it?
Investors can view reports on the project and trade out of their position in the market as the qualitative characteristics change over the life of the SDRI. Overall, the SDRI allows investors to participate in the project while minimizing their risk and providing a potential return on investment.


What is it?
is the pioneering structure that Empowa is supporting for affordable housing in developing markets.

How is it used?
Under this structure, families rent the house for a set period and are expected to make additional ad-hoc lump sums to contribute to the ownership of their home. This allows the client to live in the home as a tenant while they work towards ultimately owning the home through their capital contributions.

The rent-to-own service, supported by Empowa Pay technology, is supplied to end-users via either a local housing developer or local financial services provider.

Why do we need it?
Banks rely on credit records and formal income to provide mortgages to customers. In Africa, where credit records are virtually non-existent and more than 80% of income is informal, a traditional mortgage is almost impossible to access for the vast majority of the population. Rent-to-own enables urban working families, whose mostly informal income is intermittent and unrecorded, access to affordable funding for affordable, climate-smart housing. Unlike traditional mortgages, rent-to-own takes into account the informality of income in the most risk-effective manner possible, creating significant financial inclusion and opening untapped markets.

Want to know more?

Explore our Black Paper, a summary of the mathematics and financial principles that govern the Empowa platform.